Lagos State government has disclosed it would expand its tax net to fund the N1.17 trillion 2020 budget. The State’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, said.
The state government currently has a total revenue estimate of N1.07 trillion to fund the budget. This consists of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N886.04 billion and N184.99 billion from the federal government.
Tax to the rescue for Lagos: While the deficit is expected to be financed from external loans of N34.5 billion and domestic loans of N63 billion, the state plans to widen its tax net to enable its IGR to meet up with the expected financial support needed to fund the budget.
The method being applied by the state tax administrator to expand its tax base is the deployment of technology and other facilities. This will also be employed to improve the efficiency in operations of all revenue-generating agencies.
“We believe that there are huge revenue-generating opportunities in the informal sector…,” the commissioner said in a Punch report.
Note that total revenue of N775.23 billion, out of which N606.29 billion was expected from internal generation, N168.94 billion from federal transfers and N77.09 billion from deficit financing, was projected in 2019.
Budget breakdown: As expected, the budget for each sector is different, and according to Egube, the 2020 Budget was concluded upon based on consultations with stakeholders. Below are the budgets for some sectors.
- The education sector got the highest allocation of N136.1 billion. It was N70.41 billion higher than that of the 2019 budget and would cater to the reconstruction of 300 schools, provision of furniture for both primary and secondary schools across the state and equipment for science laboratories.
- Roads and infrastructure got the second-highest allocation of N117.248 billion against the N31.673 billion expended in 2019. According to the commissioner, the increase would address the zero-pothole strategy and create link roads within the metropolis to solve the challenges of traffic congestion. On the development of infrastructure along the coastline, we have a provision of N11.29 billion that has been earmarked to enhance our coastal infrastructure in order to curb ocean surge and protect lives and properties.
- Health, environment, and housing got the third, fourth and fifth-highest allocations of N111.775 billion, N66.586 billion and N48.559 billion respectively.
- Traffic management got an allocation of N44.51 billion as against the N17.59 billion budgeted in 2019. Nairametrics learnt that this would address junction improvement throughout the state and ensure the completion of trailer parks among others.
Egube said full implementation of the budget would be the priority of the government.
Novavax secures $1.6 billion funding for COVID-19 vaccine production
The fund is expected to help Novavax start a final-stage study of its vaccine candidate.
An American Vaccine Development Firm, Novavax Inc, one of the front runners in the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 treatment, will receive $1.6 billion funding from the United State government to support large scale manufacturing of coronavirus vaccine.
This represents the biggest contribution to the ‘Operations Warp Speed Program’, a public-private partnership initiative by the US government, to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
Novavax in a statement said that the funds will allow the biotech firm to conduct advanced human studies and engage in manufacturing to deliver 100 million doses as soon as late 2020.
Novavax is among the companies trying to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus that has developed into a pandemic and spreading rapidly in countries like US, India and Mexico. The Operation Warp Speed Program has supported efforts of firms like Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Merck & Co, to get doses of the vaccine as early as possible.
READ MORE: New Covid-19 Cases reach all-time high – WHO
The fund is expected to help Novavax start a final-stage study of its vaccine candidate before the winter period, with as many as 30,000 people.
Novavax, had earlier secured as much as $388 million in May from the coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the single largest contributions from the organization at that time. The biotech company’s vaccine candidate is to provoke the production of antibodies that prevent the spike protein which the coronavirus uses to infect host cells.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drug manufacturing firms and university researchers are investigating more than 140 experimental vaccines. Moderna, Pfizer and the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, are among the companies and institutions that have started studies of their vaccines in healthy patients.
Lagos Ferry Company targets 480,000 commuting passengers daily – MD
The administration is seeking ways to decongest the heavy Lagos traffic and using inland water transport.
The Managing Director of the Lagos Ferry Services Company (LAGFERRY) Mr AbdoulBaq Balogun says the company has a target of transporting 480,000 people daily on the waterways of Lagos State.
He made the comment in an online show called ”Covinspiration”.
He said, “As at June 30, we had operated for 77 days on inland waterways and moved 60,000 passengers”. Revealing that the company had 14 boats and was making efforts to expand operations with bigger ferries with the involvement of private investors.
Adding that the administration is seeking ways to decongest the heavy Lagos traffic and tapping into the potential of inland water transport.
“With about 1.6 million people moving on Lagos roads every day, we are being tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that we move at least 30 percent of these motorists off the roads through the waterways.
“That gives us about 480,000 passengers. So, moving 480,000 passengers is our daily target on the waterways of Lagos State.
“Mr Governor is focusing his energy on ensuring a multi-modal transport system with the abundance of water bodies we have. We are moving people and goods on pleasant experience through the inland waterways,” he said.
He said the company operates in all the 40 inland waterway routes, and expanded operations will decongest traffic from in the on Lekki Epe Expressway, Ikorodu road, the Third Mainland Bridge and Lagos-Badagry Expressway
The managing director said that traffic congestion on Lekki Epe Expressway, Ikorodu road, the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos-Badagry Expressway would be minimized with LAGFERRY operations in those six routes.
“We are just coming on board, we are still testing the water, passengers are just coming to know us and we are still creating awareness.
“We have not reached our peak and we are yet to get to the optimum operational level. We want to expand the services of LAGFERRY to other routes and enhance productivity,” he said.
Just in: Buhari suspends EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu from office
The suspension follows the investigation of allegations of gross misconduct against him on Monday.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, from office. The suspension follows the investigation of allegations of gross misconduct against him on Monday.
According to available information, Magu was suspended to allow for probe into allegations against him.
The EFCC boss appeared before a presidential probe panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami, who is investigating the allegations against him.